I'm a title. Click here to edit me.
My Week In Magic - Update 48
The week started with final preparations for my latest interview with Mark Shortland. If you haven’t had a read, take a look here as it was posted on Friday. Thanks to Mark for his help preparing this interview. Mid week, I won a new signed poster on e-Bay which is signed and dated by Chris Cross to advertise this years Edinburgh Fringe. Sold directly by Chris, it is a great new rare collectable for my collection which includes an inscribed message. Once received, I will of course log within the collectables section Another collectable that I bought and arrived super quick was a signed Pete Firman photo and signature with COA. The number of signed autographed items in my collection is building up nicely. Later in the week, I participated in something special online via Zoom. It required a fair amount of preparation and at some point I may be able to tell you more. It is magic related but I need to keep it quiet for the moment. Something that I was most excited and nervous about. Another exciting possibility for August is the chance to visit Smoke and Mirrors very soon in Bristol. I should be able to get some tickets for August to see the house show. Yesterday, I was able to watch the latest AGT episode but no magicians featured this week. Have a good rest of weekend. Martin Links: Leicester Magicians Network
Mark James: Sleight Of Hand
Mark is adverting a new tour for the Summer. His official write up and dates are below: Hey friends! It's been genuinely amazing being back out on the road performing in person shows! I'm super excited to share all the dates for this years SUMMER TOUR of MODERN MAGIC. I'll be performing all throughout the holidays at the venues listed. Hope to see you there! Mark James LD Agency Acts Group Haven Parkdean Resorts TAG Live tedgroup
Mark Shortland Interview - "The Best Kept Secret In Magic"
***** BRITISH MAGICAL CHAMPION
BRITISH MAGICAL COMEDY CHAMPION
IBM STAGE MAGICIAN OF THE YEAR
IBM CLOSE-UP MAGICIAN OF THE YEAR
MEMBER OF THE INNER MAGIC CIRCLE
MAGIC CIRCLE CARLTON AWARD FOR COMEDY ***** Mark needs no introduction to readers of this site. A popular artist who has achieved TV fame and won many awards, appearing on Penn & Teller: Fool Us and Britain's Got Talent. I have had the pleasure to watch Mark perform on Zoom on a couple of occasions and attend his excellent lecture. A brilliant performer who is most entertaining and is a comedy magician. Also known for working on cruises, lecturing magicians and of course for creating his "Amazebox" effect. Mark has previously worked as a graphic designer and still produces artworks, creating his own playing cards. After working in outdoor pursuits, Mark pursued a career as a comedy magician and his awards include various IBM titles and Magic Circle awards. A member of the inner magic circle, he is an accomplished performer within theatre, close up/cabaret, Zoom and his Christian performances. Also, regularly performing at the Magic Castle in the US. Magic Seats - Thanks for joining us today Mark for a chat. I am aware that you have had previous careers in art/design and even an outdoor instructor. Faced with a career change (UK F&M outbreak), why did you decide to turn professional as a magician and focus on comedy magic? Mark Shortland - I was already performing small shows at the outdoor centre so it was the thing I knew. F&M just gave me the push I needed. I was either going to be an out of work canoe instructor, or out of work magician; the second one sounded more appealing. The comedy side came as I have never really been able to do anything seriously. I have always tried to have fun whatever job I have done. For me I am just enjoying what I do, I would not say I am a hard hitting comedy act. I don’t advertise myself as a comedy act, that way if I am funny it’s a bonus rather than an expectation. Magic Seats - I have always enjoyed your performances. Your first Penn & Teller: Fool Us performance with Jonathan Ross was particularly humorous. How did you get booked onto Penn & Teller in the UK and US and what advice would you give to others who want to get onto and do well on TV? Mark Shortland - I got an audition for the UK show and it all happened from there. The US version, they contacted me as I had been on the UK show and asked if I had anything else which might be good for the show. With regard to getting on TV, I am not the right person to ask for advice. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. I have no idea how to recreate that, improve chances of being on TV again. Magic Seats - I expect that one thing that helps is the fact that your performances are always so energetic. How do you prepare and hype yourself up prior to shows/sets/lectures? Any tricks of the trade that you can share. Mark Shortland - I always have a piece of music played into the theatre before the show. This hopefully energises the audience as well as myself. I will always jump around just before I go on stage and do some quick breathing so I don’t feel so lethargic when I appear in front of the audience. Magic Seats - That's interesting about the music recommendation, I know of several magicians who also swear by the right music to help their performances. What top learning materials would you recommend to beginners/novices wishing to learn magic? Any particular books, DVDs or websites. Mark Shortland - There is so much material out there it is very difficult to pin it down. It very much depends on what sort of thing you like. The advantage with learning now is that most effects are taught with a visual media, rather than reading. I never liked learning from a book as the description didn’t explain the effect properly and after spending hours trying to decipher what the author was trying to get across, I would find I didn’t like the trick. I have always learnt by seeing something, finding out more about it and then trying to come up with my own way of doing/presenting it. Try to be original from the beginning rather than copying a performer. Magic Seats - I agree that originality is key and yes, audio visual learning through videos is very effective. Of course, you have also created your own effects/props. What is the story behind “Amazebox”. How did you come up with the idea for this prop/effect and the design itself? Mark Shortland - The Box came from a need to force a movie. There was an effect I wanted to do, but didn’t like the way it was done. I wanted the audience to be able to write down what they wanted, and have a volunteer choose one of those thoughts, with me going nowhere near them at any point. There was nothing that did that so I worked out a way of doing it, and after showing it to Andi Gladwin and Josh Jay I teamed up with Vanishing Inc. to create what you know today. Magic Seats - It is certainly a popular product with many uses. I love magic collectables/effects and props. Can you share any details about any prized magical collectables that you own? Mark Shortland - I have two things on prominent display in my office. The first is a framed deck of cards I designed and created called ’53 Magicians’ It shows 53 magicians who are instantly recognisable from their costume or their signature effect. I have the original deck framed with the individual cards signed by the person appearing on it. Obviously I don’t have them all signed as amongst others Houdini, Doug Henning and Tommy Cooper are included. But of the 36 that can be signed I have 9 left to be signed. The second item is framed next to my ’53 Magicians’ deck. It’s a Cloak of Invisibility, signed by the God of Comedy Magic, Mac King. I don’t need to say much more about it, other that it is my favourite magic thing I own. Magic Seats - Some great collectables and I love signed items as well. You have already achieved so much (awards, inner Magic Circle, Magic Castle and TV appearances) - What is next on your magical bucket list that you would still like to achieve? Mark Shortland - I think the only thing I would still like to happen would be to see my name up on an advertising hoarding in Las Vegas. I have been lucky to perform in Vegas three times, each time part of show. To be able to perform my own show and have it advertised would be amazing. It wouldn’t need to be a long run, just long enough for the giant screens to show my face and name. Magic Seats - I agree that would be amazing. I am sure that you will achieve that goal. Thank you Mark for your time today. Very much appreciated. For Mark's website and social details, please check out the links below. Website FaceBook Twitter YouTube
Date and time Sun, 25 July 2021
18:00 – 19:00 BST £13.52 Book on eventbrite 3 Hero's have come together to save the world from terrible zoom shows! 40 minutes of family friendly, super hero themed entertainment. About this event We are proud to Announce our Live Zoom Show Magicians Assemble.
Your hero's go live on Sunday the 25th of July @ 6pm. Bringing you 40 minutes of Family friendly, Super Hero themed, Interactive, Magical Entertainment. We can't wait to show you what we've been working on! Featuring the amazing Javi Benitez, performing his world famous requiem act.
Javi is a FISM World Champion & Penn and Teller fooler. Alongside Andrew Cooper and Alan McIntyre, 2 up and coming magicians from here in the UK. We look forward to seeing you on the 25th!
Tom Brace: Embrace the Impossible! - London Wonderground
SATURDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2021 AT 14:00 Tickets Tom Brace loved his childhood. Roald Dahl, Cluedo and one film in particular from 1985… Join him for a hilarious evening of 1.21 gigawatts of magic as he showcases his unique, incredible and totally pointless abilities in a new show inspired by his past! Featuring Tom’s unique blend of comedy and magic, the show promises to have a little something for everybody. We will be running a COVID safe festival with totally flexible, socially distanced venues and open outdoor areas for food and drink. We are so excited to be back - your safety is our number one priority. 'Charmed, amazed and delighted in equal measure!'
James O'Brien, LBC 'Go for the magic, stay for Tom’s charm and comedy'
Phoenix Remix 'A fun-filled hour of amazing magic and hilarious comedy'
Primary Times 'Hilarious…joyfully daft…if you want to catch a magic show…this should be it!'
Sitting on the Fourth Wall
Chris Cross - Edinburgh Fringe Festival
13th to the 19th August 2045 BST daily for an hour Check out FaceBook for the official post here. CHRIS CROSS: A PANDEMONIUM OF PAROUR MAGIC IN A PANDEMIC! Expect Masterful Sleight of Hand and Quick Witted Banter as this Globetrotting Geordie Showman presents a Madcap Show and Tell of some of the Rarest and Cleverest Magic Tricks in the World. Bringing Bygone Victorian Apparatus BACK into the Limelight. Not for the easily offended. Over 18’s Only.
Summer Seaside Magic 4: Magic Mike's Summer Show
Magic Mike's Summer Show Ocean Room - Scarborough (Wednesdays - August) He's back! Magic Mike returns during the Summer holidays with a brand new edition of his Summer show! Joined by his cast of friends including naughty Chuck, Oscar the Parrot, Carlos from Brazil and the Hey Presto dancers. This exciting and colourful stage show guarantees a brilliant experience for the whole family. Come and join us for a great night of family entertainment. The Bar is open throughout the show and the kiosk is open for snacks too. Show starts at 7pm! Tickets will be on sale very soon here!
Mark Shortland Interview Coming This Friday
Mark needs no introduction to readers of this site. A popular artist who has achieved TV fame and won many awards, appearing on Penn & Teller: Fool Us and Britain's Got Talent. I have recently had the opportunity to have a chat with Mark and cannot wait to share the interview with you this Friday. A discussion of Mark's career, achievements and what the future holds. In the meantime, for Mark's website and social details, please check out the links below. Website FaceBook Twitter YouTube
My Week In Magic - Update 47
A very quiet week in my world of magic this week. I attended the regular Leicester Magicians Network (LMN) meeting on the Wednesday via Zoom. This week it was show us your routine which proved popular. Lots of discussion, demos and best practice and chat. Very enjoyable as per usual. I also continue to work on a talk that I am hosting for LMN this August. A talk come discussion and quiz. Trying to do a little prep each week to complete in time. It appears to be coming on nicely though lots more to do. As so quiet, I grabbed the opportunity to add a new promo page to the website. A third promo page that will be focused on promoting magic bars. Please do let me know if you wish to have your magic bar promoted or you can recommend one. The new page is now live here. As usual, the service is free to promote magic. On the latest AGT episode on Netflix that I watched last night, we had more magic again this week. This time, it was the turn of French mentalist Kevin Micoud. A really amazing performance and you can view below. Something a little different from the norm and while I can work out some of the act, a lot is a mystery. Live performance wise, things could shape up nicely this Summer Quite a few performers are out and about performing. Some are even local to me like Jay and Joss, Magical Bones, Tom Brace, Elliot Bibby and Mandy Muden. Can’t wait! Keep an eye on the site for all the latest show info on the blog. Have a good weekend. Martin Links: Leicester Magicians Network
Summer Seaside Magic 3: Evolution of Magic
The Evolution of Magic is a fast-paced, thrill riding and thoroughly entertaining show! Starring Craig Christian Magician and Illusionist who has the dexterity of a true artist. He performs miracles with just a deck of cards. His urban and edgy style is changing the face of Magic and Entertainment. Whilst Elizabeth’s thought-provoking tales of the impossible delve into the world of the unknown. You may recognise Elizabeth who has recently appeared and performed on the popular ITV show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. Having got through to the semi-finals she shocked audiences with a terrifying audition that resulted in Amanda Holden swearing live on stage! Craig and Elizabeth perform all over the world but enjoy coming back to the home of magic, that is Blackpool. This show is truly a performance not to be missed! Selected dates from 25th June – 30th October 2021 Venue:
Horseshoe (Blackpool Pleasure Beach) Show Times:
All shows between Tuesday – Friday will be at 7:30 pm
All shows on a Saturday or Sunday will be at 6:00 pm Adult £14.00
Family Ticket £40 (2 adults & 2 children) any additional children £10.00 payable at the Box Office Book
Summer Seaside Magic 2: Magic Goes Wrong
Tuesday 03 August 2021 to Sunday 08 August 2021 CONGRESS THEATRE Back with their biggest comedy catastrophe to date, multi award-winning Mischief (The Play That Goes Wrong, BBC One's The Goes Wrong Show) return to the stage with their hilarious new show created with magic legends, Penn & Teller. A hapless gang of magicians are staging an evening of grand illusion to raise cash for charity. But as the magic turns to mayhem, accidents spiral out of control and so does their fundraising target! Raising the bar with their dare-devil stunts, jaw-dropping feats and irresistible comedy genius, Mischief’s Magic Goes Wrong comes to the Congress Theatre direct from the West End. Book your tickets now, before they vanish out of sight (or sellout!).
Penn & Teller are co-creators of the show and won’t be appearing on stage. 2021 casting to be confirmed. Times & Prices
Tuesday - Saturday 7.30pm
Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday 2.30pm
Tues - Thu £27 - £40
Fri - Sun £29 - £42
Concessions £3 off, Under 18s £5 off
(Apply Tue - Thu top 2 prices only)
Prices inclusive of £2 per ticket booking fee Book here.
The Big Magic And Music Show With Jay And Joss
Jay and Joss are performing at a drive in magic show this weekend on Saturday the 17th. Taking place at Market Harborough. Below is a write up from Jay and Joss and for more details, visit here. Gates open 1130. We're performing a LIVE in-person show on Saturday afternoon!
It's been a while since we last said hi, but we wanted to let you know about something special happening this weekend...
We're performing our first ever 'drive-in' show... and we've got an exclusive discount code to share with you!
It's our biggest show to date, and we're bringing it to the East Midlands Drive-In Venue on Saturday afternoon!
A GREAT opportunity to safely enjoy an afternoon of live in-person entertainment!
We hope to see you there :-)
Jay & Joss x